On Palm Sunday we remember the triumphal entrance of Jesus into Jerusalem. We go to church and carry palm branches, sometimes shaped in the form of a cross, to proclaim Jesus our King. Prophet Zechariah, 520–518 years before Christ, prophesied the triumphal entrance of Jesus in the city of Jerusalem:
Rejoice greatly, Daughter Zion!
Shout, Daughter Jerusalem!
See, your king comes to you,
righteous and victorious,
lowly and riding on a donkey,
on a colt, the foal of a donkey.
The Triumphal Entry
“And when he had said these things, he went on ahead, going up to Jerusalem. When he drew near to Bethphage and Bethany, at the mount that is called Olivet, he sent two of the disciples, saying, “Go into the village in front of you, where on entering you will find a colt tied, on which no one has ever yet sat. Untie it and bring it here. If anyone asks you, ‘Why are you untying it?’ you shall say this: ‘The Lord has need of it.’” So those who were sent went away and found it just as he had told them. And as they were untying the colt, its owners said to them, “Why are you untying the colt?” And they said, “The Lord has need of it.” And they brought it to Jesus, and throwing their cloaks on the colt, they set Jesus on it.”
“Blessed is the King who comes in the name of the Lord!”
“And as he rode along, they spread their cloaks on the road. As he was drawing near—already on the way down the Mount of Olives—the whole multitude of his disciples began to rejoice and praise God with a loud voice for all the mighty works that they had seen, saying, “Blessed is the King who comes in the name of the Lord! Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!” And some of the Pharisees in the crowd said to him, “Teacher, rebuke your disciples.” He answered, “I tell you, if these were silent, the very stones would cry out.”
The true King is Jesus, the Son of God, humble and meek, who came to serve humanity, and to teach us how to live the abundant life. Jesus, the Son of God, whose Words are the Words of the Father, obedient to Him and without sin, came to the world, to sacrifice His life for the salvation of humanity. Only Jesus, the perfect paschal lamb, without blemish, reconciled us with the Father, forgiving our sins, and granting us the gift of eternal life.
Yet, Jesus’ generation thought more of a revengeful king, who would free them from the yoke of the Roman Empire, from servitude, and from indiscriminate taxes. Many cared little about the state of their souls, their sins and true repentance. Jesus’ gift was spiritual, eternal, more precious than gold.
Today, many also want material prosperity at any cost. They are greedy, unscrupulous, and unprincipled. They serve their own gods, and live their own rules. They only want to enjoy this perishable life, the world and its pleasures, without concern of the afterlife and not believing in eternal damnation. The mention of a loving Jesus, meek and humble, who taught us to live separated from sin to avoid the consequences of sin, such as hell and damnation, repulses them. They called themselves religious but according to Jesus, it was only the appearance of faith, they did not love their neighbor, they did not follow His commandments:
“You hypocrites! Well did Isaiah prophesy of you, when he said: “‘This people honors me with their lips, but their heart is far from me; in vain do they worship me, teaching as doctrines the commandments of men,’” (Matthew 15: 7-9).
The same Pharisee spirit who accused Jesus of calling himself King of the Jews, during His “trial,” and shouted with the same multitude: “Crucify him, crucify him,” is living today among us and wishes him and his teachings death. These pharisees have their “own religion,” “their own commandments,” go to Church, or lead churches, and if they can, they profit from Christ. There is no love of God in them and for that reason, they cannot love their neighbor.
Jesus’ disciples and the multitude who saw Jesus’ miracles and who shouted joyously “Blessed is the King who comes in the name of the Lord!,” abandoned Jesus during his apprehension and hid, and Judas betrayed him. Only John the apostle and a few women remained with Jesus, to witness the precious gift of God, His only Son, Jesus of Nazareth, hung on the tree.
Today many are saying, “I don’t want Jesus to be the King of my soul, and I don’t want his gift of eternal life.” Most probably, they would be among those shouting, “crucify him, crucify him again, we don’t want him, we hate him for teaching us what opposes the world.” Many today, believe in a false Christianity, that gives preference to material prosperity, rather than living the meekness and humility of Jesus, or his life of service and love of neighbor.
It is our choice, since this loving God wants us to use our free will wisely. What will you choose, the world or Jesus?What will you choose, eternal life, loving and making Jesus the King of your life, living separated from sin, serving and loving your neighbor? Or the god of this world, and his many manifestations, greed, lust, selfishness, a life of excesses and material goods? Our choices have consequences, and going to heaven choosing Jesus or going to hell choosing the world is a choice we make. You cannot have both. Jesus said:
“No one can serve two masters. For you will hate one and love the other; you will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money, (Matthew 6:24).
Who is the King of your soul? Who is your master?
“Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever,” (1 John 2:15-17).